Sunday, April 21, 2013

sanctuary


I perch on the doorway between who I was and what I am to become. The crystal, wrapped in rabbit fur and rivets, leather and braiding, hangs between my breasts. I'd like to say it came to me, but I searched for it. But the other things, the elk antler, the hawk's wing, turtle shell, the apophyllite that takes my breath away, they came to me, laid themselves at the foot of my altar.

Use me. Heal with me. Honor me.

It is safe there where the wrapped crystal hangs. No one cares about that cleave now, except my husband who stares at it and tells me I'm gorgeous. But I am not. I am the deep summer earth, warm and loamy and writhing with living things, and things that look unalive, but breathe vibrations and energy. I am the fire, a sun that burns for my family and my art and my writing. I am the water, flowing into and out of notice. I am the air, nothing but a tickle and urging, silent but persistent, to acknowledge me.

I have no time for games. Rattles must shake. Incense must be lit. Deities worshiped. Energy runs through my palms, and into bodies and crown chakras up from earth, down from heaven. It is all coming together--I am started to see the picture of the puzzle, but not quite. There is healing there, ceremony, circles, rattle-shaking, drum-beating, bare feet and no makeup and people who let go of the tightly wound shit that prevents them from feeling anything.

My daughter brings home a book on wolves every week from library. She howls and tells me obscure facts. She says she wants to be a red wolf, no no, a gray timber wolf. And I nod. I understand both paths. And I understand why you want to be the wolf. Our people are both pack animals and lone animals.

I perch at the doorway between buying a little house in the suburbs and the home. I have dug holes and created memorials, designed mosaics and built shrines. This year, I have abandoned the hope of growing anything but grapes and raspberries in this sandy, clay-dense soil, rather I make a field of containers on my back deck. And in the center of the yard, field stone from Pennsylvania, maybe the quarry not far from my childhood home, lay piled, ready for the fire pit we are digging today. We have managed to shield the neighbors, and feel alone here, somehow. We grew a sanctuary here.

I turn and stare at the pieces on my walls--feathers, butterflies, hex signs and horns, jizos, old photographs, angels, poetry, and a huge sign that reads, "EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY." And it has been and it was. I hang inspiration on every wall in my house. I worry it is cluttered when I clean for company, but mostly it serves its purpose. It reminds me:

I must create. I have to paint. I want to write. I accept my divinely creative self. I speak in affirmation even when I think it is hokey.


I hung a new piece on my wall from Please Be Still. I just wanted us to see ourselves differently. It reads, "From here on out, Nothing but Blue Skies."

I am happiest when my bare feet are buried in earth, and begin rooting. I take my shoes off on hikes, and my children warn me of snakes and spiders and poison ivy, but my thick bear skin protects my feet. Callous so deep and hardened that I walk over spiky rocks and hot coal with nary a whimper. No yogi hoodoo, just hard massive cave lady feet. My callous cracked last week, and I rubbed aloe and vitamin e into it. Beezus looked at it, ticked her tongue, "This wouldn't happen if you wore shoes in the garden."

It is true, child. 

All my holds on this world, and in this house are loosening. It is not a lack of love, but release of attachment perhaps to the place where my child died and the others lived. We can create sanctuary anywhere. We dig it out in the yard today, stack field stones, make a fire pit and an altar. I love it here, but I must go soon. I can tell, there is a calling elsewhere for something more than a measly little container garden on the deck. I need space to howl at the moon, and my children do too.

9 comments:

  1. Pulse quickening. You are going to have an adventure it seems. X

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  2. This is lovely, Angie. I wish I had the facility with language that you have. We just finished up the end of our move from the house we lived in when we conceived. My baby grew there, and I went to the house after he died. It was the place where I grieved so deeply, I honestly wondered whether or not I would survive. I have fewer of those days now. It was like my shattered self seeped into the walls, and pulling myself away was excruciating. But the promise of something entirely different - more space, fewer people, more nature - lured me during even the most difficult days and weeks and months of the transition.

    Good luck, mama. I'm sure wherever you go next will fill quickly with collaborative magic and wonder <3

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  3. Good luck with everything - I'm sure any place you call home will be magical and well, home. xo

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  4. Okay, nothing in the immediate future in terms of moving away...just starting to maybe me allowing myself to think about perhaps moving house eventually, some day.

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    1. Yes. I think I am entering this space as well. Allowing myself to think about a space not this one. It's freeing, and scary, and so not a big deal, but such a big deal. All at once.

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  5. Angie, may your sanctuary be where and what you need, contained or not, here or someplace your bare feet touch.

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  6. Thanks for these words, Angie. I feel on the verge of movement, too, these days, and it's both terrifying and freeing to feel my holds loosening - I generally prefer to cling tenaciously.

    I love that you've build a sanctuary, and that you can see yourself building another. I love your connection to the earth, and your calloused feet, and Bea's wolf howls. And I love that these things are all connected and seem to be taking you somewhere.

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